Most prominent as a stage actor, he joined Halifax's Neptune Theatre company in 1972. He has since appeared in stage productions across Canada, including William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Richard III, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Henry VIII, Aeschylus' Agamemnon, Jean-Paul Sartre's The Flies, James Weldon Johnson's God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse, Tennessee Williams' Orpheus Descending and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Djanet Sears' Harlem Duet and The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God. Since 2003, he has been a member of the Stratford Festival of Canada.
He has also recorded and released an album, Walter Borden Reads Shakespeare's Sonnets to the Music of Fernando Sor, in collaboration with classical guitarist Paul Martell.
Openly gay, he also wrote and performed his own autobiographical play Tightrope Time: Ain’t Nuthin’ More Than Some Itty Bitty Madness Between Twilight and Dawn, one of the first plays in the history of Black Canadian literature to directly present themes of male homosexuality. His later writing credits include Testifyin′ and Tellin′ It Like It Is.
Borden was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, the African Nova Scotia Music Association (ANSMA) Music Heritage Award, and the Portia White Prize, which is awarded annually by the Nova Scotia Arts Council to someone who has made a significant contribution to culture and the arts in Nova Scotia. He was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2006.
- "Poet radical: The adventures of Walter Borden. Xtra!, October 30, 2003.
- Dawn Williams, Who's Who in Black Canada, Volume 2, p. 73. 2006. ISBN 0973138424.
- Premier Presents Portia White Prize to Walter Borden. Government of Nova Scotia, March 1, 2006.
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